Arsenal and Nantes have reached an agreement in principle for a season long loan for Marquinhos without the option to buy, reports L’Equipe. The Ligue Un side will reportedly pay a €300K loan fee and cover his €500K net salary. The clubs were reportedly discussing a €12M option to buy and €22M buyback clause, but the clubs decided on a dry loan.
The 20-year old Brazilian winger spent the second half of last season on loan to Norwich in the Championship, scoring one goal and registering one assist in 11 appearances. Arsenal will be hoping that Marquinhos can replicate the success that Folarin Balogun had on loan in France and that of William Saliba before him. We’ll conveniently ignore the mixed bag loan that Nuno Tavares had at Marseille last year and that of Nicolas Pepe at Nice.
It doesn’t seem as if Marquinhos has much of a future at Arsenal, although an unexpectedly successful loan spell could change that. He certainly has the physical stature and tools to excel at the top level. More likely, the Gunners are hoping that he’ll have a solid enough season to convince Nantes or another club to buy him next summer. Arsenal didn’t pay much to acquire him (£3M), so it will be easy to recoup the fee / turn a profit.
And for what it’s worth, the inclusion of a buyback in the initial negotiations suggest that maybe Edu and Mikel Arteta still believe that he might develop into a useful player. This is an important season for him. Let’s hope he has a good one!